Swapo central committee member Peya Mushelenga has seemingly read the riot act to party secretary general Sophia Shaningwa over an alleged administrative failure to set up the congress preparatory committee or sub-committees composed of vetted CC members.
With one month left before Swapo delegates descend on the capital to decide the former liberation movement’s fate, there appears to be an avalanche of secretarial shortcomings.
Supremely, Mushelenga finds it baffling that there are no committees in place.
He is concerned that further delays in constituting the committees will have negative ramifications on the effective and efficient organisation of the congress.
The politician has not seen this in his 20 years as CC member.
Mushelenga’s concerns are contained in a missive addressed to Shaningwa, seen by New Era, dated 17 October 2022.
Mushelenga also dropped a bombshell, suggesting some delegates’ names have mysteriously vanished from the congress master list.
“It has been complained that some names of some delegates have been removed from the delegates’ list without their knowledge or the knowledge of district coordinators and replaced with the so called ‘alternate delegates’,” Mushelenga, who is also the information minister, alleges.
According to him, this scenario would have been averted, had the committees been up and running.
He confirmed penning the letter.
Party president Hage Geingob and all CC members are copied in the letter. The president’s spokesperson Alfredo Hengari did not respond to a request for his views on Mushelenga’s complaints.
Those vying for Swapo’s top position are apparently breaking or disregarding their own campaign rules and procedures.
“It has further been observed that during the engagement between candidates for the vice president, secretary general and deputy secretary general with delegates, last week, some media teams of candidates were allowed entry [in venues],” Mushelenga charged.
“There have been inconsistencies in the manner in which the regional engagements were conducted from one region to another, with some regions allowing only delegates while some regions allow non-delegates to attend.”
The 47-year-old also accused those he branded non-delegates of disruptive behaviour at the engagements.
He wants the matter to be addressed at a special CC meeting this Friday.
Swapo made it clear that there will be no public campaigns. This means the media and members of the public are blocked from Swapo’s campaigns.
Those contesting for the top four positions are expected to address delegates on the same dates to level the playing field.
Dirty campaign tactics or “de-campaigning”, as it is known in Swapo parlance, either social media, television, radio or via press releases, will result in automatic disqualification.
In essence, the campaigns are exclusive to a little over 700 congress delegates.
The move has been slammed by some quarters of society, who argue that a mass-based organisation of Swapo’s magnitude cannot be left to the scrutiny of only 700 people.
Unverified records show that Swapo has around one million members.
Candidates are also barred from corruptly promising money or land to congress delegates, an offence that will result in his/her withdrawal from consideration.
The 2017 congress is said to have been bankrolled by illicit proceeds from the Fishrot scandal, a claim Swapo has consistently denied.
Shaningwa neither confirmed nor denied receiving Mushelenga’s letter. A message left to her phone was not responded to.
Today, the Swapo campaign trail will hit the Ohangwena region, which is considered a political hotbed for the contestants.
It will be followed by Oshikoto, Oshana, Omusati, Kunene, Otjozondjupa and //Kharas in that order.
The final meeting is slated for the Hardap region on 12 November 2022.
Incumbent vice president Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah will mount her defence against Prime Minister Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila and environment minister Pohamba Shifeta as she seeks to retain the post.
Meanwhile, Shaningwa will square off against Oshikoto coordinator Armas Amukwiyu for the SG position.
Former cabinet minister Uahekua Herunga, parliamentarians Lucia Witbooi, Evelyn !Nawases-Taeyele and Kavango West party coordinator David Hamutenya contest the deputy SG position.
Caption: (Peya 1 and 2) Sophia Shaningwa
Photos: Emmency Nuukala and Nawazone